Entries in Snow (4)


Baby Born in Stuck Elevator after Snowstorm Delays Hospital Arrival

File photo. (Photodisc/Thinkstock)(TACOMA, Wash.) -- A newborn baby boy in Washington State can already lay claim to having survived two unexpected disasters: one of the worst winter storms to ever hit Washington State, and being delivered in a hospital service elevator.

The harrowing series of events surrounding the arrival of Blake Michael Thacker had a happy ending: he came into the world at the St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, around 5:45 Wednesday morning.

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It began with his parents, Katie and Luke Thacker, leaving their home in nearby Graham hours before when Katie started to go into labor with her second child.

The couple’s drive to St. Joseph took twice as long as usual because of the snowy and icy conditions created by the winter storm that unexpectedly walloped the state this week, local ABC affiliate KOMO reports.

By the time the Thackers managed to pull into the parking lot of the hospital’s emergency room, Katie was ready to push, so hospital staff rushed her into a service elevator to whisk her to the maternity ward on the 14th floor.

The group, now comprising the Thackers, four nurses and Katie’s mother and sister, rode the elevator to the 12th floor where they had to switch elevators to continue on to their 14th floor destination.

Luke, Katie’s mom and sister and one nurse stepped out, only to watch the elevator’s doors close, leaving Katie and the three remaining nurses trapped inside the elevator and now stuck between floors.

While hospital staff called emergency crews to rescue them, Katie and the nurses proceeded as Mother Nature demanded, delivering Blake inside the elevator.  He was a healthy 7 pounds 15 ounces, and 21.5 inches long.

According to KOMO, the elevator remained stuck for about two hours before two technicians could pry the doors open.

Luke reportedly stayed in touch with Katie during the delivery via walkie-talkie, before climbing down to cut the umbilical cord of his newborn son.

Mom, nurses and baby all made it out of the elevator safely and unharmed, and with a good story to tell.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How to Survive If Your Car Gets Stuck in Snow

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- David Higgins, his wife, Yvonne, and their 5-year-old daughter, Hannah, are recovering at Miners Colfax Medical Center in Raton, N.M., after they were trapped in their GMC Yukon beneath four feet of snow for nearly two days.

Rescuers found the family lethargic and holding on to one another early Wednesday. Fortunately, the Higginses, who were heading to northern New Mexico for a ski trip, had plenty of food and water, and could use their cellphone to call for help.

Would you know what to do if your car became stranded in snow? ABC News spoke with outdoor survival expert Brian Brawdy; here is his advice:

How to Be Prepared:

1. Always drive with at least three-fourths of a tank of gas during the winter months. In an emergency, you will need as much gas as possible.

2. Pack a fleece blanket, emergency food and a first aid kit in the interior of your car. In an emergency the trunk might not be accessible, and fleece is one of the few pieces of material that retains its ability to provide warmth if it gets wet.

3. Have a container in the car that is capable of holding snow. In an emergency it may be necessary to collect snow in order to hydrate.

4. Replace all the interior light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs use about one-twelfth of the energy of an incandescent bulb and cost less than a tank of gas. In an emergency, conserving the car battery is extremely important, and the LED bulbs make a big difference.

What to Do If You’re Stranded:

1. Don’t panic and don’t rely on your technology. Survival is never about technology and always about temperament. In many cases cellphones and GPS devices may have been disabled by the accident or will not have service. However, if they are functional, they should be used immediately.

2. Always stay in your vehicle. If people are coming to look for you there is a better chance they will see a car than a person. You will also be able to survive for longer in your vehicle than in the elements. There are only two circumstances in which you should leave the vehicle. The first is if you are familiar with the surroundings and are certain it would be easy to walk to safety. The second is an option of last resort in which you believe you have absolutely no chance of surviving unless you try to walk to safety.

3. Keep your seat belt on. In winter conditions it is likely that other drivers may slide into your vehicle after it has become stuck.

4. Crack the back window slightly. Oftentimes the tail pipe is obstructed by snow, which can cause deadly carbon monoxide fumes to get into the vehicle when the engine is running.

5. Run the engine for 10 to 15 minutes every hour. This will allow you to heat the car, melt snow into water and even warm a meal if you have packs of survival food. It will also conserve gas and prolong the life of both the engine and the battery. In an emergency, the vehicle is your lifeboat, and you want it to be functional for as long as possible.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Winter Weather Safety Survival Guide

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A winter storm -- the likes of which forecasters say hasn't been seen in the Midwest in years -- is expected to pack a potentially dangerous punch of sleet, snow, ice and wind.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that over the next few days as the storm moves from the middle of the country to the East Coast it could have an impact on a total of 100 million Americans.

Don't be caught unprepared.  Twenty-five percent of all winter-related fatalities occur because people out in the storm are caught off-guard, according to the National Weather Service.

Here are some winter storm tips from the NWS so you can stay prepared:

-- Use caution and be aware of hazardous driving conditions.  Roads will be snow covered and dangerous.  People are encouraged to use discretion and not go out unless it is absolutely necessary.  Traffic lights may be out and roads will be congested.

-- During snow storm conditions, snow plows are considered emergency vehicles and should be given the right of way.  Listen to the weather reports and plan accordingly.

-- Have an emergency supply kit in the vehicle. A fully charged mobile phone, charger, spare batteries, blanket or sleeping bags, extra food and water are essential.

-- Keep the gas tank as full as possible.  If stranded, run the car periodically to preserve fuel and stay with the car.

-- Make sure someone knows your route and timetable.

-- Major concerns for individuals are loss of heat, power, and telephone service.  Individuals and families should have food and water, flashlights and batteries, first aid supplies and a battery operated radio in their disaster kit.

-- Emergency 911 phone system should be limited to life-threatening situations only.

-- Prepare your home for a power outage.  If you have to leave your home and seek shelter, remember to bring your medications and sleeping gear such as blankets and sleeping bags.  Most of these items will not be provided by the shelter or will be in short supply.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Snow Shoveling May Put Hearts at Risk

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As Americans living on the Eastern seaboard break out the snow shovels, doctors are telling them to take special care, and have "great respect" for the dangers of blizzard conditions, both during and after the storm.

Doctors say slips and falls are the most common injuries caused by snow and ice seen in the ER, but they also warn of heart dangers that may come with a snowfall.

"The risk of heart attack is increased by the combination of heavy, upper body exertion and cold weather encountered while shoveling snow," said Dr. William Abraham, director of the division of cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State University.  "People, especially those at risk for coronary heart disease, should avoid heavy exertion in cold weather conditions."

There are two major points that can put people at risk for heart problems when it's cold.

"For one, most people don't realize that, when their hands get cold, it causes blood vessels in the heart to constrict and reduce the blood supply to their heart," said Dr. Randy Zusman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center.

So, if a blood vessel is 20 percent to 30 percent blocked, it can become up to 70 percent to 80 percent blocked due to the constricting walls in the cold weather conditions, said Zusman.

And once the shovel comes out of the garage, things can often get much worse.

"Lifting heavy snow is like heavy weight lifting," said Zusman.  "It puts a strain on the heart, and the blood pressure and heart rate go up in response to it."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio